Photo Credit: Austin American Statesman, October 2021, Tyler praying in locker room before football game.
I wrote this after football season when I realized just how blessed Tyler was to receive so many awards. We thank God all the time for Tyler’s athletic gifts, but we fail to give credit often enough on social media.
Tyler’s secrets to being the athlete he is becoming isn’t based on how much chicken, rice, and green beans he eats at lunch or how many “off” days he spends with a barbell in his hands. Tyler’s secret to being a great athlete is the foundation and belief system that runs through his mind.
Here are few truths we speak and believe in our house:
*That talent, that gift, that ability in the weight room, on the field or on the track is not achieved with personal strength or personal power. Our abilities are gifts from God, unique and individual to each of us.
*Our gifts are meant to be used, not hidden. We are responsible for nurturing, growing, and working these gifts that we have been blessed with.
*Our God is in control of all things. If we are in a season of winning, then praise God! If we are in a season of difficulty, then praise God! He is in control and everything that happens in our life is part of our journey, our story.
*We believe the tougher our trials, the more God is showing us to depend on Him. While He gave us physical and mental strength, we are limited by our abilities and trusting and believing in God for help is the only way.
*Our gift can be stripped away at any minute. We talk about this often in our home. If the day comes that we lose our #1 ability or talent, it will be difficult, but we know that God’s plan is bigger than we can dream up.
*We pray first because we are not in this life alone. There is never “pressure” to accomplish something on our own. Let’s use what abilities God has given us, pray, put in some work, and do our best. (And if we start to feel pressure, we pray more, and remember that it would be selfish to think that the ability we have is about us, it’s about God. A gift we get to use!)
*We believe our worth, that feeling of belonging, does not come from accomplishments, winning, or pats on the back. Our worth comes from God and God only. We are God’s children and that alone makes us worthy and accepted. God loves us so much. He chose us and designed every little detail on each of us. We accept our Father’s love and know that whatever failures we endure, they do not define us, and our God still loves us.
*Finally, we pray for God to use those gifts for His glory. Our purpose here on earth is to glorify God. I pray that Tyler’s love for football and his athletic gifts are not used for personal gains, or self-worth, or a feeling of righteousness. I pray God gets the credit. I pray God shows Tyler how He can be a light for Him on and off that football field.
Each day I remind Tyler to thank God for all he has accomplished in his athletic journey. When Tyler lifts something heavy, I ask, “who gave you that strength?” When Tyler runs fast on that field I ask, “who gave you that speed?” Tyler’s success is believing and knowing where he came from (God), who his father is (God), and what his purpose is here on this earth (God’s Glory)!
Thank you, Lord, for each of our unique, individual gifts! Something to think about: What are your gifts, abilities, something you do well? How are you using them? I’m talking to us grown-ups! It’s never too late to use those gifts that He gave us!
Musician? Artist? Leader? Teacher? Cooking? Baking? Builder? Cleaning? Organizer? Good at Math? Dancing? Public Speaker? Writer? Good at games? Memorizing? Listening? Designing? People Person? Gardener? Photographer? Full of patience? Are you a hard worker? Do you have a determined attitude? Can you make people smile? Can you be a good friend? How can you use your hands? Your mind?
How can you use these abilities for God’s Glory?
1 Corinthians 12: 4-6-Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 10:31-So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:10 -As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.